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tavis: good evening. from los angeles, i am tavis smiley. with t a conversation deborah spar. womenok looks at whether should aim for at all. undermining women's satisfaction with their online own lives. and t.c. boyle with his new book.
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we are glad you're joining us. those conversations coming up right now. said there is always the rightst >> and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. tavis: deborah spar is t president of barnardh and has written "wonder women: sex, power, and the quest for perfection," love that cover.
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chicago whererom she is on tour for the tome. >> it is my pleasure. about liberating women from the unreasonable and impossible standards that have been thrust upon them. thrust upon them by whom? rex that is a good question. i do not think it is a single person or group of people. no one sat down and try to make this happen. it has been a combination. women have taken on too many expectations upon themselves. the media, sorry, keep driving these expectations and those of us who are mothers are passing on ever greater expectations to our daughters. tavis: how does the media drive these vacations from women or of women question are >> the company magazine from the shelf. perfecto are keeping
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homes and leading perfect careers and if you look at television shows which are fictional so you do not expect them to be real. they are showing women who are successful mothers and look origins and we fall into believing that these fictional lives are somehow accurate depictions of what our real lives should be about. >> what responsibilities are women thrusting upon themselves? >> what women are doing to themselves is that they are seeing these different images of perfection. the perfect wife, the perfect mother, the perfect career person, the perfect movie star and they are thinking they should be all of these things. that is the problem because i want to be ambitious for women. i am ambitious for myself. women can definitely find areas in which they want to excel at we need to keep in mind that if you are focused on one thing you're not able to be perfect or even very good at everything else.
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tavis: if the paradigm has shifted and you are calling for a new construct, help me understand how women reframe the conversation and this agenda for the 21st century? rex one thing that women can do is be more honest with themselves and friends and be more willing to say i am excited about this part of my life but i am screwing up over here or this is a mistake or something i have given up on. we should feel more liberated to say i cannot bake the cookies for the school bake sale because i do not have the time. or i am sorry but i cannot do this at work because i have too much else going on this week. we have to be more upfront and say -- say no for lack of a better world -- better word and modeling that for others. it is important for middle-aged women to clear -- be clear and say you cannot have it all. nobody has it all. by portraying our lives as being
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too perfect, too balanced, we are selling younger woman a bill of goods that is not true. quick so saying no, saying no is about prioritizing. this is not a once all -- one- size-fits-all answer. theyo him in prioritize so can say no to the things they cannot do? rex part of it is realizing. it is a simple but huge thing. you have to say no to things that you want to do, things that are good to do. you have to realize that every time you say yes to one thing you have to take something off the plate. and critically you have to realize that it is easier to say no then to say maybe. maybe is what gets us into trouble. i think women are saying i will try to do it, maybe i will do it, i will do it if i can and they are feeling guilty when inevitably they cannot do everything. your point about
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a story onthere is how you came to terms with that when you were rushing home from work ahead to a pta meeting. exit is one of those great moments. i was rushing around and got dinner on the table and cleaned up and it was heading out the door to go to this meeting and my son said why are you going? and i said this is very important and he said why is important and i said it is your school and he looked at me and he said i do not care if you go. i wanted to stay home. it was one of those beautiful moments where the white -- the light bulb went off and i said i think i am doing this because it is good for my community, but i was doing it because i felt i had to. i stopped going to pta meetings after that. that? feel bad about rex i feel a little bad. i religiously signed up for our bridge duty at school events because i realized that was
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efficient to do and no one wanted to do it so i got over my guilt. i stopped going to the monthly pta meetings. tavis: if you were late you would still get there on time for garbage duty. to what extent is feminism responsible for raising the bar so high that women have been trying to hurdle over? and blame not go back feminism. all feminism was trying to do is create a new set of opportunities for women and they did. it was feminism that made it hostile bull to go to the ivy league and be asked or knots and have their own tv shows. it was theed was generation after feminism, my generation is understood what feminine -- feminism was saying
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can do these you things and we heard you should. we're the ones who translated an opportunity into an expectation and is -- that is where we went wrong. travail ismuch legitimately or illegitimately blamed on man? >> if you go back 60 or 50 or 100 years ago a lot of women's problems were caused by men. they were caused by traditional ways of organizing the workplace and organizing the home. when i look at where i am today i do not see any man sitting in the corner office trying to keep women out. the men i know are trying to get more women involved. they have wives they care about and daughters they desperately care about. i do not think it is accurate to blame men anymore. instead what we need to do and this is hard is to step back as we kind ofnd say
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turned things upside down. we have moved away from the nuclear family in which the man always works and the woman stays home. how are we going to rearrange things now? we have done the first part of the revolution but we have not figured out what structures will work. if two people have a couple of kids some he does have to take care of the kids, somebody does have to cook dinner, somebody does have to do garbage duty. when he to take some time and give some thought to think about what these structures will look like. remember --orporate america, there were studies where co status was concerned, there was some acceleration ou d now there is some gain. if you're not blaming men who will you blame? >> it is not a question of
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blame. it is a question of saying how to make this work. if you have -- if you are aiming to be the ceo of a corporation you're not working the 35 hour week grade you are working 60 or 70 hours. it is hard for any two people in a couple to work those hours. we have to figure out how to make the home front work. we have to figure out how to make the schools work. we have to figure out how schools can organize themselves so working parents can participate. we have to find better ways of getting childcare. societally, we want to think about not moving so far away from our own parents because if you are going to make this work, you need an extended family, you need people to help out and pitch in. we need to have honest conversations among the men and men to say how do we restructure this thing and how do we stop them each other because i am not saying that every woman wants to be a corporate ceo. ceo's to be
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supported and not look down on women who make other choices in life. this is the term about realizing goodthere is not just one outcome and everything else is a failure. there is an array of possibilities. maybe i cannot be secretary of state in my life but there is 9 million other things i can do that would also be very intriguing. how do people pull back and say here is where i am with this particular decision. if i cannot get my very best outcome, what are the other outcomes i can think about that might work as well, so to get back to my silly thing, if i am not going to the pta meeting, i will do the garbage thing and i will get over some of my guilt and be more efficient with some of my time. demandso these
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undermine american progress if we do not get women to find a balance in their lives? thanmen are getting more 50% of the college degrees and the medical degrees and the phd's. if we do not find a way to keep women in the workforce and keep them happy, we are throwing our investment down the drain. 's new text,ah spar "wonder women: sex, power, and the quest for perfection." it is an honor to have you on program. coming up up, a conversation with novelist t.c. boyle. stay with us. t.c. boyle has written 100 novels and short stories and
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many of them deal with immigration and environmental degradation. he has consistently been on the bestseller list. he has published his second volume of stories called "t.c. boyle stories ii." good to have you back on this program. chuck taylors on. i love it. >> you never know when you're going to be called upon to dunk. tavis: it is still killing. this would be hard to dunk at 918 pages. this is pretty dense. >> it is also -- i am sorry, i wrote a preface for it, it was a little bit valedictory. this is my career, this is what i have done. i am feeling pretty good, and i think it might have a few more good years left in me.
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so maybe we will see volume three sunday. tavis: you say that like you have questioned whether or not you have a pew good years left? >> i have been healthy. i get up and clean up after my wife and start typing every day. has 900 18 book pages because it has three books in it, basically. and 14 short stories create >> right. there is 58 stories in this one. four8i published my first collections. they squeezed the pages more narrow but it was a big book. 700 pages. all the stories have been written since then. instead of coming out with a new book of stories i figured it is time to make a kind of grand statement in this big book. readers or your fans, is there something linear about the short stories? >> it is different.
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in the first month i divided them into love, death, and everything in between just for the fun of it. -- traditional where it is basically chronological. you come up with these stories since i have written since the last two times i have seen you, i read them between the novels. whatever i feel like writing. there is one in here called "sic harper's.hich is in we moved into an area in santa monica. there was one house you could not see. it was overgrown and there was this old american car listing in the driveway and i said, "prob ably some old person there and once they are in dead you have to clean this up." they came in with all those years and took this person's life, everything gone. right down to bare dirt.
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i wrote a story about that. mundi, sot gloria go the glories of this world. monica where the property values are so high. >> they needed that deal. tavis: use a moment ago you write these in between novels -- you said a moment ago you write these short stories in between novels. once they start on a particular project they stay with it until it is done but in between writing novels you're doing short stories. you do not get cold liquid or confused in that process? >> i am pretty hard-core. i stick exactly to what i am doing. i write a novel and i will write stories in another period and i only work at one thing at once because i am afraid i would not finish what i have started. quote upan, put that
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for me. >> that is reason. -- recent. again.t to have that fix are a all writers drugniacal, depressive, addicts and alcoholics. once you have that fix you want to do it again. tavis: all these guys are straight arrows. that is a slight exaggeration. am just having fun, making jokes and writing books but you see me once a year, i, and when i have a new book out. i have got my nose to the grindstone. i am doing what i am supposed to do in life which is make stories. i do not write film scripts, i do not give speeches, i just love to be an artist and do what i am doing. that is what i am talking about in the preface of this book. tavis: what is it about the
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that is sowriting addictive for you? >> it is going into another world. same thing that the reader gets on the other end trade we have all had the experience of you pick up a book and you get into it and you cannot concentrate and one day you pick up the same book and you do not hear the phone ring. you are totally absorbed. when you get into that special place of unconsciousness you get music or ag to great great movie. it takes you out of yourself, out of this world. there is no feeling quite like it. when we talk about you have to get that fix again it is sort of like a drug high. you make something out of nothing. you get to the end of it, you feel great for little while. then the rush goes away and you have to do it again. enjoy to theo you extent you do interacting with --ders once the book is gone
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done? i always dread the process of writing because i am a verbal guy. i write a book every couple of years but it takes everything out of me to get a book out. the part i look forward to is when the book is done and getting on the road to talk to people about the book. i love that. do you not like that part or do you as well? rex i do. most writers are introverts. they do not want to deal with anybody. i used to front a rock 'n roll band. i used -- i like to shake it out and give a performance. i go onstage in a darkened theater and i read as an actor. it brings people back to the first voice they ever heard. in my case it was my mother who taught me how to read. i love to be sitting here with you and to be doing interviews and meeting the readers. that is a great thing but i can't shut that off what i have to go home and write another book.
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>> you spent so much time and i know this because i do see you once a year. it is like a standing engagement. someone from t.c.'s office will call. "the new york times" is chomping at the bit to review it. you are writing so much, do have time to read and if you do them like tooes t.c. boyle read? >> i cannot read while i am writing because someone else's voice creeps in. you have to keep your tone and attitude over the course of year or however long it takes. writing short stories which i will be doing shortly, i am reading nature books. i am reading about the urban stiary.ear he -- bea it is rats. there is an animal rights
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activist in this book and i began to feel sorry for the rats. you have to add a new title to my distinguished career. tavis: rat lover. >> rat deliverer. i am taking them and letting them go in the woods may -- where maybe the coyotes will eat them. at least they're not rolling code holes through the walls -- coke bottles through the walls in my house every night. they be is a rat game. you probably have a lot of your show and they will tell you the secret why the rats are rolling those bottles in the walls all night long. -- i: you have always been do not want to say always but maybe you have been. you certainly of late have been passionate about a variety of environmental and other social
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issues. >> absolutely. you will see it reflected in these 58 stories. you can trace the themes all the way through. you know, i tell jokes and i worryun but i tend to about everybody and everything throughout the entire world. this population explosion, the extinction of the animals, mobile warming create in 2000 i earth"a friend of the about global warming. ers will find a lot of that certain thing and can trace some of the ideas through. basically, for me, a story can be anything, anything you tell me, anything i read in the newspaper in any mode. i do not have restrictions. some writers write about their own lines -- lives. i do not want to do that. i want to have a quiet, boring life. someone wants to write a
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biography. only living writer in history to only have one life. tavis: today is your daughter's birthday. >> she is a big fan and she is here with her college are made. tavis: happy birthday, ms. boyl e. let me close with this. this is your assessment of your own work. you said that you think your work is maturing, that your writing is not as whimsical as it used to be. what do you mean by that? >> i am talking about in the preface. overlooking my whole career and so on. when i first started out first of all in the stories i wrote some of those as a student in my early 20's. was more interested in idea and design and telling jokes and having fun and absurdity but as i began to write novels, i began to discover the idea of writing
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about characters. you see a fuller, richer sort of story than in the early ones. not that i reject them. as we mentioned this am a just before, i just got back from a tour from germany and austria. i finished the next novels i can't see you next year. ahead ofu are schedule. he crank them out and he -- they seemed to be good. we will see him in a year. for now the one we are "t.c. boyleis new short," brand stories. until next year, my friend. good to see you. that is our show for tonight. thanks for watching and is always, keep the faith. >> for more information on today's show, visit tavis smiley at
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tavis: hi, i'm tavis smiley. join me next time for a conversation with the maker william -- filmmaker william friedkin on "the exorcist." that is next time. we will see you then. ♪ >> and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you.
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>> be more. pbs. >> be more. pbs. >> be more. pbs.
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?ie know what you're thinking, that looks familiar. welcome to this is us. today we're at history park and behind me is the san jose electric tower one of the many fun things you'll see. that was a reply cal. the orange was built in 1881. they built it as the seventh wonder of the west. it was so exciting that the designer traveled to san jose to take a peek at it when he was looking for ideas. we'll get a peek at it, a close-up look used by spies throughout history. we'll also

Tavis Smiley
PBS October 29, 2013 12:00am-12:31am PDT

News/Business. T.C. Boyle. (2013) Dr. Debora L. Spar; author T.C. Boyle. New. (CC) (Stereo)

TOPIC FREQUENCY T.c. Boyle 4, Us 4, Pbs 3, Deborah Spar 2, Tavis Smiley 2, Exorcist 1, Bea 1, For Me 1, Smiley 1, Chuck Taylors 1, Grindstone 1, Excel 1, Sot Gloria 1, Mundi 1, Cal 1, Chicago 1, William Friedkin 1, Tooes T.c. Boyle 1, T.c. Boyleis 1, Ms. Boyl E. 1
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